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HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

We’re starting to wind down the layout of all the parts that are going into our Home Theater PC. First, let’s recap some of the main components that we’ve thrown into this project this far:

We’ve come a long way to far. In this article, though, I wanted to talk about the TV card that we’ve chosen. Since we are doing this on a budget, we are hoping for a nice balance of good performance at an inexpensive price. This is why we’ve chosen the TV Wonder 650. Amazon has it for 43% off of the retail price. This card supports both over the air HD broadcasts, as well as ClearQAM cable TV.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

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HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

Continuing our quest to build the ultimate, while inexpensive, home theater PC, the one thing you need to consider when talking about media is how you are going to actually get the media to the computer. After covering the main mission, carefully going through our selection of hardware, giving you a first hand look at the MSI motherboard we chose (and explaining exactly why we chose that one,) and then bringing you up to speed on how we are going to drive 7.1 surround sound from this thing, you were probably thinking that the brunt of the thinking was done, right? Well, while that may be the case, there are still some important considerations that need to be taken into account.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

Bleeding Edge TV 269: Computex 2008 - A Talk with AMD’s Pat Moorhead about Turion X2

We caught up with Pat Moorhead of and had a chat with him about the new Turion X2 chipsets and the new Hybrid Graphics technology, which allows dynamic switching between integrated and discrete graphics cards, with no restart required.  The technology promises better battery life and enhanced rendering performance (although, unfortunately, not necessarily at the same time).

Stay tuned for more news from Computex 2008.


CES 2008 Video: AMD PUMA demonstrations

In this segment, we look at two similarly equipped Dell notebooks to examine the benefits provided by ‘s integrated graphics option versus the competition’s, and take a first-hand look at a Half-Life 2 demo run on a Puma-based reference system, in hybrid mode, utilizing both the system’s discreet and integrated graphics chips over Crossfire.


CES 2008 Video: AMD Spider platform, Dual-Chip Radeon R870

We take a few moments with ‘s Rick Bergman, General Manager of the Graphics Processing Group, about their new Spider platform—a three-tiered computing system that helps tie together and ensure compatibility between the chipset, CPU and GPU. We talk about what sort of benefits this means to the enthusiast-class consumer. We also dive into the nitty-gritty with the new , currently codenamed the R870—a dual chip design that has two separate GPU units with an internal Crossfire link and Alternate-Frame Rendering to tie them together. I also ask about some of the design challenges realized in smashing two cards together and getting an efficient, workable result. The design is impressive and the ability to link two of these cards together will come to mean a great deal of graphics processing power in the near future.

The card will be available late January and can be powered in a typical system by a 500 watt power supply; has cut their power requirements for similarly powered cards in half, without sacrificing any performance.


CES 2008 Video: Pat Moorhead on AMD Smart House and CPU Roadmap

We talk to ‘s Marketing VP, Pat Moorhead about the Smart House “portal” they had set up at . In contrast to our last post, they were much more open this time and let me ask just about any questions I asked, including questions about their roadmap and some very cool details about their new “Black” edition, incredibly overclocker-friendly CPU. We also learn more about their mobile device chipset and hear that we’ll be able to output HD content from cell phones and other mobile devices running on ATI chips within the next year or so, straight to an . Cool stuff.


CES 2008 Video: A look at AMD’s Demographic Reach

We talk about the demographic reach of AMD and how AMD has its technology in hundreds of non-PC products.


CES 2008 Video: Pat Moorhead on AMD graphics roadmap and ATI Radeon

We chat with ‘s Pat Moorhead, this time talking from their Smart House about their involvement in gaming systems like the and , and their new quad-Crossfire capable Radeon offerings.


65 Nanometer Microprocessors Coming to an Xbox 360 Near You

Posted by Paul Hamilton Categories: Hardware, Microsoft, Xbox 360

Xbox 360 Internal
Dean Takahashi has a write-up regarding the upcoming 65nm microprocessors reportedly shipping on new units. The more efficient processors are included on the new Falcon boards that are included standard in all units going forward. Of course, still needs to sell its existing stock of 90nm chip systems and as a result is being, shall we say, coy about the new processors and their availability.

Also of note is that these new Falcon boards curiously do not include replacement 65nm graphics processors, which some have speculated are at least partially responsible for the frequently discussed Red Rings of Death issue that Microsoft recently took steps to correct. Takahashi remarks that he expected the 65nm chips—both processor and graphics—to have appeared long before now but speculates that the problems with the 90nm boxes may have pulled Microsoft’s engineers away from the efficiency shift to concentrate on damage control.

The crux of the report is that buying a new Xbox 360 right now is probably not the wisest consumer decision, at least until someone determines how to effectively differentiate between the chip sizes from the outer boxes. Once the last of the 90nm systems have been liquidated from stock all 360s sold will include HDMI and the more efficient chips, which many believe (or perhaps hope) will be more reliable than 360s have historically been. The moral of the story then is for those considering an Xbox purchase to wait for a few months for the holiday buyers to clear out the older stock, something Microsoft hopes you won’t do which is why they remain so elusive with details on the new chips.

Read More | San Jose Mercury

Bleeding Edge TV 169: AMD Explains How Quad Core Chips Should Be Made

Okay, we have been hearing a lot about dual core and quad core processors coming out of both the and camps. Now that has released the Octo-core Mac Pro, people are wondering about the benefit of having all these cores at their disposal. In this video, we speak with AMD about what they believe is the fundamental difference between the way they do Quad Core chips as opposed to the way Intel does it. Check out the video to see how AMD feels quad core computing should be done.


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